Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 24 May 2018

Brighton Festival 2018 Review: The String Quartets Guide to Sex & Anxiety @ Theatre Royal Brighton

Sometimes it's good to be challenged, to be mystified by unfolding events, to be totally flummoxed by the juxtaposition of what's being revealed. But other times it's best to admit defeat and realise there is no mystery, just bitter disappointment.

The String Quartet's Guide to Sex and Anxiety at Theatre Royal Brighton, was like a theatrical Ready, Steady, Cook - this is what we have in the fridge; some Beethoven, some chairs, some music stands, and let's see what we can concoct to fill the task at hand.

Featuring compositions by Ligeti and Beethoven and directed by one of Europe's most exciting theatre-makers, Calixto Bieito, this new production was billed as 'a delicate and moving reflection on the fragility of the human condition'.

Featuring texts from writers Robert Burton, Anne Sexton, Stig Dagerman and many others, the audience were promised an encounter with anxiety in its many forms.

 

Sadly myself, as well as those around me, felt that the production was little more than disjointed, discordant and unsettling; and an experience only punctuated by the sudden shock of the stacked chairs at the rear of the stage taking a timely mid-performance tumble. 

Supported by the haunting string sounds of The Heath Quartet, the  quartet of actors - Cathy Tyson, Mairead McKinley, Miltos Yerolemou and Nick Harris - did there best with a 'plot' that at times seemed as mystifying to them as it did to the vast swathe of those in attendance.

For the director this is a very personal production: he suffered from anxiety disorder as a child, having witnessed a friend die at the age of eight.

And maybe for others who were unfortunate enough to have suffered, or witnessed, a childhood horror, the Guide to Sex and Anxiety may resonate deeply.

But for those wanting an escapist evening of entertainment, it was too distant and confusing to be anymore than somewhat pretentious and unpalatable.

Brighton Festival 2018 runs until Sunday 27th May. CLICK HERE for more info. 


 

by: Neil Williams




Share    

Pic (c) Tony Woolliscroft

The Damned recently celebrated the first ever Top 10 record of their illustrious 41-year career with latest album Evil Spirits. 

British blues-rock prodigy John Fairhurst is gearing up to greet the new year head-on as he blasts out of 2018 with a date in Brighton. 

The streets of Brighton will feature folk tales of the world for the 2019 Brighton Festival Children's Parade next May. 

“In 1993 Primal Scream went to Memphis to make an album with Tom Dowd and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section - that album never saw the light of day… until now,” says Bobby Gillespie.

Ian McKellen is to celebrate his 80th birthday next year by raising funds for theatres, with a new solo show which will play on 80 stages across the UK, including Theatre Royal Brighton.

Soaked in Tom Allen's signature waspish snobbery and self-aggrandising wit, his new show Absolutely addresses the elephant in the room that Tom is still living at home with his parents, because he can't afford not to – in Bromley, Kent: heart of leave voters and Theresa May's Brexit Britain


Brighton charity Same Sky this week launches its crowdfunder for Burning the Clocks 2018, offering exclusive gifts in order to raise £5,000 and help secure the future of the event.

Founded by lead singer and songwriter Matt Belmont, Belle Mt formed during a period of withdrawal from live shows for Matt, where he dedicated himself to songwriting, beginning a journey musically and geographically.
The Barton Family

A couple who met at Brighton Dome have returned to the venue to launch a public competition to name a seat in the refurbished Corn Exchange or Studio Theatre.
(c) Wheatus 2018

It's hard to believe Wheatusdebut album is eighteen years old this year.
40 Shillings @ Prince Albert by Andy Sturmey

Brighton's 40 Shillings on the Drum, who are set to share a stage in Sussex with punk icons, UK Subs, later this month, say they also share the same ethos when it comes to songwriting and live performance.

“I'm excited to spread cheers and queers throughout Europe this season,” says Asia O'Hara, ahead of Christmas Queens visit to Brighton, next month.
AudioActive Patron Rag’n’Bone Man at The Movement Launch

Brighton's new Holler Brewery oversaw the launch of AudioActive's latest initiative in its manifesto to provide a solid foundation for local grassroots talent.

Today, 1st November, the World Of Underworld explodes as the band launch their perplexing Drift series - an epic year-long road trip by the band (Karl Hyde and Rick Smith) in collaboration with Tomato and friends old and new, from playwrights to DJs in jazz and techno to painters and poets.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd